tv The Chris Matthews Show NBC November 11, 2012 11:00am-11:30am EST
[captioning made possible by nbc universal] >> ask not what your country can do for you. >> i can hear you. >> the time for change has come. chris: the new america, the country makes history again. doubling down on hope and barack obama. what does the winner hope will give him and more important us a second term upgrade? will the hard right in the house give thumbs down for the re-elected president, will they risk the fiscal abyss to keep their ties to the tea party? and finally, this is my country. even mitt romney was echoing that cry from the anti-obama crowd, pledging to take our country back. but that is deep in the past. no matter how hard they want it, america's fewer you to -- future just won't look like the
early 1950's. hi, i'm chris matthews. welcome to the show. with us today, the washington post bob woodward. "the washington post" kathleen parker, "the new york times" d helen cooper. first up. barack obama's place in american presidential history was upgrated tuesday with his convincing sweeping re-election by an entirely new american elect rat. -- electorate. >> we are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. we are and forever will be the united states of america. and together, with your help and god's grace, we will continue our journey forward. chris: bob, here we are five days later. i'm thinking, i still can't absorb the months and months and months we worried about which way this election mibet go and then to see it go in one simple clear direction. obama's direction. >> and it's a big deal for him.
and the interesting question is how is he going to use the power of the presidency? david wrote a really important column about linden johnson saying, what's the presidency for? doing big things. he made -- obama may have that opportunity. he's got to fix the financial house of the federal government first and that is boring, tedious. chris: let's stay with this lofty thing. didn't he in his first term treybig lofty things, health care, don't ask, don't tell. >> he did. he got some of they have accomplished and some of them not so. but when you look at the entire election and i look at just sort of -- i was on the road with obama for the last -- feels like the last three months, particularly the last couple of weeks where it was kind of like on the -- felt like the baton death march or something like that. and this one moment that just stays in my mind, we're all so
prepared for this thing to go possibly into recounts, be up all night. understand when you guys called the election -- and when you guys called the election, i was standing in chicago among all of his supports. nobody saw you call ohio but all of a sudden there it is up there and it says barack obama re-elected. chris: it was like 11:20 eastern. >> yeah and it was so instantaneous and the place went berserk. chris: and when mitt romney came out, and he's not a professional politician, but he came out and gave the most professional concession speech i've heard in years. that to me brought clarity. >> he's a first class act. let's face it. mitt romney was always -- i think after that first debate and he picked up the momentum, he was convinced and had been convinced by those around him that he was likely going to win. and the people around him talking about polls and ratings were convinced that the 2008 turnout was not reliable. and that that was just a once in a lifetime event. and that's why i think it was
such a crushing surprise to them. that he'd lost. chris: apparently it was. >> for me the defining image of this campaign was in the last week, president obama and the jersey governor, chris christie, together dealing with a big national crisis. and that showed you two things. obama can be a leader for the country in a crisis and here's an image to what the country wants which is politicians to stop arguing and begin to get together and solve problems. i thought from that moment he just -- he seemed to accelerate day bidet in the polls. chris: people are still hurting up there by the way. it is a huge human problem up there. let's talk about the first order of business. that fiscal cliff that's coming. the two main players have said they know they have to deal with it. the president says he's determined to find compromise. >> i want to be clear. i'm not weded to every detail of my plan. i'm open to compromise. i'm open to new ideas. i'm committed to solving our fiscal challenges.
chris: but john boehner is holding firm against one of the president's main campaign pledges. >> everyone wants to get our economy moving again, everyone wants to get more americans back to work again. raising tax rates will slow down our ability to create the jobs that everyone says they want. chris: in your book, the price of politics, a heck of a book. you talk about how debt negotiations fell apart the last time, we tried it in the summer of 2011. will the speaker, we just saw, have the strength to lead his party even if he has to fight for the tea party? >> their camouflage is tax reform and they're going to do that over time. so the rates could come down. the really interesting thing is when you examine the detail of this, last year they were close. they actually could have worked out some agreement and it blew up because of the president asking for more revenue and that was the limit for them. i think it is a moment of
necessity to a certain extent. they can't avoid this now. chris: reporting challenge. does the president have confidence or belief that the other side, that would be mitch mcconnell, the senate republican leader, or john boehner, the speaker, are up to a big deal? >> i don't know if he has confidence in boehner and mitch mcconnell but he certainly has confidence at this point in the idea that the american people, the majority of the american people, back the whole idea of tax increases on the wealthy. the white house said pre-election polling and postelection exit polls show that more americans -- chris: how do you put together -- everybody watching has an opinion on that. the very wealthy should pay their share at least and not avoid it. but they also seem to applaud every time either candidate on either said said we got to work together. >> the white house dream would be to see boehner peel away some republicans and work with the democrats in the house on the deal. that's what they want.
chris: will paul ryan join john boehner, the speaker, in trying to work out a deal? or he will be a rejectionist and set up the big rebel flag and say i'm going to be the die-hard? >> no one knows the answer to that question. that is yet to be seen. paul ryan is in a terrible situation. he can choose to do the right thing or he can decide, you know, he's obviously running for president in 2016, or he can decide to be the holdout and to be the rejectionist. president obama is lucky to have john boehner on the other side that have table because john bainer is not a crazy person. and he can work a deal. right now he simply does not have the votes. but -- again, the president does have to lead here. he has to bring something to the table. he has to be willing to give some that so that john boehner can bring his people to the table, too. but he can deliver. he's been mischaracterized i think. it's convenient for the white house to say, oh, boehner can't get his people behind him. boehner always gets his people behind him but the president has to bring something forward. chris: i'm thinking there's a possible deal there where boehner says i can release enough people for to you join
your side, and you can get it passed. >> the tea party has been folded into the republican party them. don't like it. but -- chris: here we go, the big question for the president. does he go hard left, push for big tax increases on the rich? hold out for the toughest, most progressive program which will be applauded by the people on the left and say, they're already pushing for that, or will he go down the mid snl >> i think think from everything that he's said during the campaign and since that he'll go down the middle. that he needs to get a deal. playing to his base is not a sensible strategy for him. in terms of governing in a second term. chris: does the president feel that pressure? you're covering him all the time. >> he's definitely feeling a lot of that pressure. you see it came out immediately. he wanted -- [inaudible] i think he's going to have to go down the middle. chris: it looks like a 60-40 deal pro-democrat. >> one thing he's going to have to do which he didn't do
adequately in the first term is be a leader of his party. he's going to have to take democrats with him toward a deal that's going to have some unpleasant things. the deal that they're going to have to have, entitlement reform. tax reform. and he's got to lead democrats in that election. >> there's a fantasy element, unfortunately, in this, about the tax increases for the wealthy. probably a sensible, good policy. its theology, as you know, with the republicans not to do it, when you look at the raw numbers, it's kind of only 8% of the annual deficit -- you dent get enough money. if you go back to 2010 when it was obama and joe biden who made the agreement with the republicans to extend the bush tax cut. so i would not rule out him giving that. just because you're not going to get that much revenue from it and there are other ways to do it and the idea that somehow you can put enough republicans
and all the democrats in the house together won't work because the democrats will not go along with significant entitlement cuts. but there is a way to do it and raise more revenue and perhaps lower -- chris: big question starting with david. will we have a deal that we're all proud of? the market, the wall street response is, darn it, those politicians got their act together by christmas and new year's. >> i don't think we'll go off the fiscal cliff. will we have a deal in the lame duck session that fixes all these things? i think it's going to take longer than that. the deal that's really a deal is a complicated one. you have to get into the meat of our entitlements programs and get them right. you got to get in the meat of the tax code. i think you'll get a provisional deal that will be sufficient to get us, you know, into next year and some kind of vehicle. chris: are you optimistic -- >> you know what, i'm going to go all in. i think we're going to get a really good deal.
i think that you're going to see people -- there are a lot of lame ducks in congress. these guys are on their way out. i think we're going to get a good deal. >> i'll be the optimist, why not? i think something goodwill come of it eventually but everybody has to feel a little bit of pain. nobody's going to get exactly what they want. >> i think there's pressure from the business community that is really coming down on the head of barack obama and you look at that and just the stock market gyrations, he doesn't want that. and so in a sense they've got to do it and can obama expend kind of the emotional energy to sit down with all these republicans, which i think is something he hates to do, just visceraly, and work it out, roll up their sleeves and say, let's do this, let's trade this for that. you need the joe biden -- the old tip o'neil-reagan world, one for you, one for me.
chris: how about the old bill clinton thick of inviting everybody down to arkansas? i think they can do something really good by cutting corporate rates. that's something obama's talked about doing as a give me to the other side and then fight for the higher rates for the top people. i think he can put the deal down so it's probusiness. the news organizations conducted exit polls in presinlts around the country and one finding goes a long way to explaining mitt romney's big challenge in this race. asked which man was more in touch with you, 53% of voters on tuesday said barack obama. and 43% said mitt romney. that 10-point deficit proved fatal to romney. romney never recovered from missteps that labeled him too rich to understand the average american. there was the $10,000 bet he offered rick perry in one of those really primary debates. that became so notorious that it was part of the narrative. >> many voters feel that mitt romney's out of touch with real americans after he tried to make the bet with rick perry for $10,000. yeah, when asked to comment, mitt said, i'm sorry, but
that's all i had in my pocket at the time. chris: wow. what romney thought he could score points after president obama said the private sector was doing just fine. david lederman turned it around on romney. >> mitt romney jumped right on this and waste nod time issuing this response -- wasted no time issuing this response saying that the private sector is fine. watch what mitt had to say. >> after president obama made this statement -- >> the private sector is doing fine. >> mitt romney quickly responded. >> he said the private sector is doing fine. is he really that out of touch? >> speaking from the hot tub of his luxury yacht and another yacht next to a private island that's part of his chain of islands. mitt mitt, in touch with the common man. chris: jon stewart put it all together with this play on the jeff foxworthy, you know you're a red neck routine. >> if you have a car on your front lawn because your garage only holds five cars, if you go
to the diner and order your eggs fabbri jay, if you think clover field was a movie about your butler you might be a romney. chris: romney's only the latest politician to become late-night fodder but many voters thought of mitt romney's wealth not as a sign of accomplishment but as a problem that distanced him from other people. from voters. and when we come back, the power of our minority seemed to combine into a majority in this country. are republicans headed for extinction? lus scoops and predictions
down. so far republicans are fighting that trend, not joining it. mitt romney echoed a slogan you heard over and over during president obama's first term. >> this is our time. we've got to take this country back. >> we're going to take back this country. we need to take america back. chris: how are you going to change that message? >> as fash as the demographics are concerned, this is huge. all you had to do was look at the convention floor. there was this vast ocean of pale face notice republican case and in the democratic convention was colorful and vibrant and happy and it had life. and the republican party has got to stop marginalizing people, alienating people within the -- who disagree on these key, pivotal issues. >> one of the democrat gramm graves that the republicans have to worry about is young people. young people look at some of these cultural issues, defining wedge cultural snoose a different way. and you just saw a series of things the republicans have got to get right. the emergence of this hispanic vote. the emergence of the
asian-american vote. the strong voting turnout of african-americans. and this striking feeling women have that -- in large numbers, this is not a party i feel comfortable with. chris: to understand the politics, mitt romney ran against illegal immigration by saying self-deport yourself. he never could pivot back on that. >> one of the most awful phrases in the campaign, self-deportation. somehow people are going to spontaneously say, oh, i don't like it here, i think i'll go. because mitt romney said so. it's a big deal. but there is a pullback on this and that is still 57 million people voted for romney. and the margin, what, three million votes, you could have bad times, scandal and in the second obama administration and some moderate republican could come along and say, this is my time. chris: the question is coming up later in this show, that
very question. let me ask you about this. a pathway to citizenship. >> i think they absolutely do, and i think they'll be running to immigration reform. i think republicans are going to be embracing it. i think it's going to end up passing with 90 votes in the senate. chris: this is going to be like social security once was. >> absolutely. i think republicans definitely want to get that behind them. it's right that mitt romney did get 57 million people but the trajectory for republicans is not -- the trend is not in that direction. chris: republicans know it too. we are a mixed bag ethnically. when we come back, scoops and predictions from the notebooks
chris: tell me something i don't know. >> in a belated gesture of transparency, romney's going to release his tax returns. [laughter] chris: what a hoot. >> i'm joking. but i think we go back to foreign policy in the next year and i think we're going to be writing and thinking and worrying a lot about iran. chris: iran again. yeah. >> the head of the republican party is going to run again for re-election and he will win because despite the failings of the campaign, people are satisfied with him. chris: good for him. i was talking the other day, that's the next woodward biggy. >> he's already printing bumper stickers. >> rock stars get as big a kick out of flying on air force one as everybody else does.
bruce springsteen getting out of the motorcade to get on the plane on monday and he looked like a kid in a candy store. chris: did you like the spelling problem with his name the other day? >> what is up with that? i'm so embarrassed. >> chris christie cried when he hugged bruce springsteen. so, the benghazi postmore tells are not over and they're especially not over at the c.i.a. which is looking around the world to see how it can protect its people better and not rely on what proved to be, in the case of benghazi, very shaky militias and irregular forces. chris: and protect embassy people. when we come back, the big ues
democratic nominee if she runs. which brings us to this week's big question. which one, bush or clinton could, lead their party better in the post-obama era? >> well, the question is, would you rather be the third bush or the second clinton seeking the presidency? and if you look at the clinton brand, it's pretty good. i've always thought hillary's not going to give up on this. if she ran and were elected in 2016 she would be younger than ronald reagan was when he became president. >> as appealing as jeb bush would be as a candidate, i think hillary has an advantage here because so many women, republicans as well, would love to vote for hillary clinton, put her as the first lady in the white house. >> i spent the last year in an election and refused to answer that question. [laughter] >> hillary clinton made a lot of friends as secretary of state. some of them were republicans, not traditional fans of clinton. jeb bush is a very likable
candidate. but i'd guess that hillary is really -- she works hard at this nomination, she can unify the party big-time and i bet she'll have obama supporting her. chris: and especially if the economy is good the next four years. thanks for the great round table. that's the show. thanks for watching and don't forget that the victims of hurricane sandy are really hurting right now. especially after that new york, new jersey area. these tragedies hurting real families like yours. give them a lift. go to the red cross website. we'll see you back here next week.